Pennsylvania Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 362,126 employers, up 1.7% from 356,216
  • 5,947,724 employees, up 0.9% from 5,893,520
  • $1,070 average weekly wage, up 3.8% from $1,031
  • The average weekly wage is 2.3% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.7% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 5,910, which is an increase of 1.7%. The number of employees in Pennsylvania increased by 54,204, an increase of 0.9%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $39, an increase of 3.8%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 5,841 or 1.7%. Growth in private businesses in Pennsylvania grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 53,927 or 1.1%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Pennsylvania was slower than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $40 or 3.9%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Pennsylvania grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 14.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 0.7%. Professional services (11.7%), which increased by 3.5% and Retail trade (11.4%), which decreased by 0.2%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information49510.2%
Company management2655.8%
Transport and warehousing5175.5%
Arts and entertainment2585.1%
Real estate and rental3863.6%
Professional services1,4343.5%
Educational services1493.2%
Agriculture and forestry592.6%
Construction7312.5%
Other services7422.3%
Waste services3441.9%
Wholesale trade2941.3%
Finance and insurance2211.2%
Accommodation and food services2761.0%
Manufacturing1160.8%
Mining and oil extraction60.5%
Retail trade-77-0.2%
Healthcare-360-0.7%
Utilities-15-2.2%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.6% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.2% in the last year. Retail trade (10.2%), decreased by 1.9% and Manufacturing (9.7%), increased by 1.3%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Mining and oil extraction1,0863.9%
Transport and warehousing7,8633.1%
Arts and entertainment2,7872.7%
Healthcare22,5122.2%
Construction5,5372.1%
Professional services6,7491.9%
Finance and insurance4,0361.6%
Manufacturing7,6941.3%
Other services1,9571.0%
Accommodation and food services3,9060.8%
Real estate and rental4150.6%
Waste services2,0070.6%
Information2990.3%
Educational services5110.3%
Wholesale trade3310.1%
Agriculture and forestry-98-0.4%
Company management-1,432-1.1%
Utilities-397-1.7%
Retail trade-11,838-1.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,381per week compared with the state average of $1,058. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $95 or 4.2%. Utilities ($2,019), declined by $13 or 0.6% and Professional services ($1,788) increased by $81 or 4.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Arts and entertainment$6912.7%
Information$17311.2%
Wholesale trade$694.7%
Professional services$814.7%
Waste services$324.6%
Retail trade$254.5%
Company management$954.2%
Accommodation and food services$143.9%
Real estate and rental$403.8%
Agriculture and forestry$253.7%
Other services$233.6%
Healthcare$313.3%
Manufacturing$353.0%
Mining and oil extraction$472.9%
Transport and warehousing$242.7%
Educational services$302.7%
Construction$302.4%
Finance and insurance$372.2%
Utilities$-13-0.6%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Pennsylvania. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.0% of the businesses in the state (with 21,807 employing 366,897 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 455 more businesses, an increase of 2.1% in the last year. Services for the elderly and disabled (5.0% of businesses) had 560 fewer businesses, a decline of 3.0% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.4% of businesses) added 403 businesses, an increase of 3.3% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Forest nursery and gathering forest products545.5%
Distilleries1541.7%
Software publishers25940.1%
Credit card issuing337.5%
Breweries3425.4%
Casino hotels125.0%
Record production and distribution325.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places4552.1%
Computer systems design and related services4465.0%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers4033.3%
Management of companies and enterprises2655.8%
Software publishers25940.1%
Management consulting services2183.5%
Residential building construction2142.9%


Employees by Industry

Services for the elderly and disabled (5.0% of employees) had 560 fewer employees, a decline of 3.0% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.4% ofemployees) added 403 employees, an increase of 3.3% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Accessories and other apparel manufacturing29761.4%
Sales financing92060.8%
Local messengers and local delivery1,26557.5%
Clothing accessories stores49647.4%
Forest nursery and gathering forest products1044.5%
All other crop farming9742.9%
Broadcast and wireless communications equip.26937.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled13,32812.1%
Restaurants and other eating places4,1631.2%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences3,53110.2%
General warehousing and storage2,7323.4%
Offices of physicians2,6582.2%
Home health care services2,4453.7%
Couriers and express delivery services2,1397.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Securities brokerage, paying $3,473 compared with the state average of $1,058. The Securities brokerage industry paid their employees $9 less per week, a decline of 0.3% in the last year. Portfolio management ($3,388) and Reinsurance carriers ($3,310) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Portfolio management ($3,388 per week) were paid $34 more per week, an increase of 1.0% and Reinsurance carriers ($3,310 per week) were paid $241 less per week, a decline of 6.8% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Horses and other equine production$61590.6%
Taxi service$42053.2%
Spectator sports$84344.6%
News syndicates$58341.6%
Luggage and leather goods stores$24939.1%
Sound recording studios$23236.4%
Document preparation services$17531.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Spectator sports$84344.6%
Horses and other equine production$61590.6%
News syndicates$58341.6%
Health and welfare funds$46125.7%
Taxi service$42053.2%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$41517.4%
Medical equipment merchant wholesalers$40224.4%


Company Size

Pennsylvania Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Pennsylvania by far. 56.2% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 328,394 small businesses in the state represent 94.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Pennsylvania added 4,994 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.5% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,676 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.4% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 320 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses declined 2 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Pennsylvania Employees by Business Size

Pennsylvania added 197,777 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 24,673 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 8.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 128,573 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 6.7% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 44,531 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.3% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Pennsylvania Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Pennsylvania (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 0.2% less than the national average ($1,003 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Pennsylvania (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 11.6% workers below the national average ($1,714 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $92 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.5% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $102 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $97 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places21,8072.1%
Services for the elderly and disabled18,104-3.0%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers12,4373.3%
Computer systems design and related services9,3945.0%
Residential building construction7,5382.9%
Offices of physicians7,524-2.6%
Management consulting services6,4303.5%
Hair nail and skin care services6,4082.1%
Offices of lawyers5,693-0.6%
Landscaping services5,0462.9%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places366,8971.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals241,7270.5%
Management of companies and enterprises135,626-1.1%
Services for the elderly and disabled123,57312.1%
Offices of physicians120,0552.2%
Colleges and universities116,2720.7%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores113,522-0.6%
Temporary help services110,976-0.4%
General warehousing and storage82,6953.4%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing71,725-1.2%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Securities brokerage$3,473-0.3%
Portfolio management$3,3881.0%
Reinsurance carriers$3,310-6.8%
Securities and commodity exchanges$3,185-10.2%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,090-8.5%
Internet publishing and web search portals$2,841-0.4%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$2,80317.4%
Investment banking and securities dealing$2,7435.5%
Spectator sports$2,73544.6%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,5844.2%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.